Peabody Housing Scheme

London E13

To mark its 150th anniversary, Peabody launched an architectural competition to develop a proposal for an exemplar housing development of approximately 150 homes on a four-acre site in Plaistow, Newham. The focus of the competition is the 21st Century Peabody Vision, in particular the relationship between buildings and the open spaces around them. Competitors were asked to provide outline designs for the new housing development and to demonstrate how their designs aim to take the “Peabody estate typology” forward into the future.

The competition had two strands, one for larger practices, which was tendered via an OJEU notice, and a parallel competition for smaller practices. Syte Architects have been shortlisted in this parallel competition.

Our proposal uses new buildings, and those existing buildings that are retained and reused, to define streets and squares which respect the scale and grain of the surrounding area and connect to the existing network of streets to increase pedestrian permeability across the site. A range of different public and private external spaces is provided. A simple materials palette of brick, zinc and timber is used. This provides visual unity across the range of different types and building profiles.

All the new streets and public spaces have a sense of natural surveillance through the presence of the balconies and windows of the adjacent houses and flats. Different streets, with quieter ‘mews’ type streets, a main tree lined street and streets that open to squares. These streets and public spaces are conceived as shared surfaces with subtle differences in the tone of the paving surface delineating different areas. Car parking is largely provided on street, dispersed and integrated with bands of landscaping, intended to minimise its visual impact on the street. This arrangement has the additional benefit of creating active residential frontages.